The REACH scoping mission, conducted in late January by the REACH Global Coordinator and Regional Facilitator, helped to kick-off the Irish Aid-supported REACH engagement in Zimbabwe. It also engaged key government staff and UN colleagues to solicit their views and better understand how REACH could support multi-sectoral nutrition governance in the country. Further efforts were undertaken to consult staff at the Office of the President and Cabinet, the country’s Food and Nutrition Council (FNC), relevant ministries, the UN agencies engaged in the UN Network for SUN (UNN) and the other SUN Networks (Civil Society Network, Business Network and Donor Network) when developing the REACH work plan to ensure relevance and country ownership of REACH-supported activities. Finalized in May, the work plan was disseminated to a range of actors at a stakeholders meeting on 29 June 2017.
The National REACH Facilitator is helping to catalyse two streams of work. First, the facilitator is working closely with colleagues at the FNC within the Office of the President and Cabinet, where she is based, to support the active engagement of actors from different sectors in nutrition governance processes. This includes the development of a common narrative on stunting, drawing upon available evidence and data such as ZIMVAC assessments. The narrative will help to build consensus on core nutrition actions and inform an advocacy agenda on nutrition in the country. Secondly, the presence of REACH is reinforcing the UNN in-country, engaging prominent figures such as the Resident Coordinator and Head of Agencies. Furthermore, the National Facilitator has been invited to support an inter-agency process to increase convergence between FAO, UNICEF and WFP programming in recognition of the added value that REACH can bring to such efforts.